Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
To a Golden Heart, Worn round His Neck
By Johann Wofgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
 
Translated by Margaret Fuller Ossoli

REMEMBRANCER of joys long passed away,
  Relic, from which as yet I cannot part,
O, hast thou power to lengthen love’s short day?
  Stronger thy chain than that which bound the heart?
 
Lili, I fly!—yet still thy fetters press me        5
  In distant valley, or far lonely wood.
Still with a struggling sigh of pain confess thee
  The mistress of my soul in every mood.
 
The bird may burst the silken chain that bound him,
  Flying to the green home, which fits him best;        10
But, ah! he bears the prisoner’s badge around him
  Still by the piece about his neck distressed.
He ne’er can breathe his free wild notes again;
They’re stifled by the pressure of his chain.
 
 
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